The Right of Might, the Left of Rockets?

We have another Rocket Man for you today. Yes, that’s right, a man, suck it Mr. Sitterson. Impel Trading Card # 67 features Salvo.

In the Marvel Comics, he first appeared in issue #114. He is part of a large scale operation against Cobra forces in the Benzheen. To say that the guy is a bit buffed would be an understatement. I guess you’ll need a lot of muscle to carry around a 4-stage TOW rocket launcher.

As a Joe of the 90’s, he is however mostly remembered from the DIC cartoon series. He plays a significant part in at least 5 episodes. He gets brainwashed by Cobra, gets to attack Destro’s vulcano base and he helps to stop Cobra’s sun-cream and poison gas from Earth. Gotta love that nineties creativity. Though DIC may have tried to do it cheap, they always replenished Salvo’s rockets between shots 🙂

There have been 3 official figure releases of Salvo over the years, originally from 1990, later in 2005 and then the v3 in 2017 as part of the Club’s FSS 5.0. Most notably on the figures is his bald head (v2 gave him hair!) and the shirt with “The Right of Might” printed on it. I got the original figure as a kid. I know the 90’s Joes get some flack from the community, but you have to admit that they did come with a lot of accessories. Salvo came with a removable helmet, a briefcase, rocket launcher/backpack, 5 missiles, a mine launching type of gun and 5 mines. I’d really like to see toys being this complete nowadays in the stores.

Next time around you might want to put on some thermal underwear, not to get into the guy’s codename, but it sounds painful.

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Another strange codename

We have arrived at Impel Trading Card #65 and again the definition of the codename is worrying to say the least. The Urban Dictionary describes it as: when presented with a long list of complicated tasks and one takes the easiest possible route, doing things incorrectly and cutting corners to the extreme. Just the person you’d want to be taking care of your explosives… Ladies and Gentlemen, this is #65, Light Foot.

I have to admit, although Light Foot is one of the first more colorful (I’m being polite here) Joes to be released at the end of the 80’s, I really like the figure. I can’t remember when exactly I got the figure, but I do remember him playing a big part in my backyard stories.

We are first introduced to Light Foot in the Special Missions #13 where he – as a probationary Joe – is part of the team assigned to destroy a secret bunker. He is teamed up with another Joe trainee, Mangler,  and Veteran Joe’s Dusty and Outback. The team gets captured and tortured, and Light Foot spills all there is to spill about the mission. Mangler gives him a hard time about it, but in the end, Light Foot carries out his mission and Mangler gets … well, mangled.

In the regular run of the Marvel comics, Light Foot first appears in issue #82. They reference to his injury in the Special Mission, and he tells that because he got injured and couldn’t finish the training. He makes it again this time and together with Repeater and Budo, he is accepted into the Joe team. They don’t get the rest they deserve after the harsh training, when they have to stop a raid on the Picatinny Arsenal. Cobra is able to airlift the truck, but Light Foot had placed a time-delayed mine on the cabin making the truck and helicopter go WHAM in mid-air.

Unfortunately, Light Foot doesn’t appear in the cartoons.

As far as figures is concerned, only 2 official versions were ever released. The second being a repaint to fit Light Foot in with the Night Force team, he was released carded with Shockwave. As I mentioned above, I really like the figure and it’s a shame only 2 versions (1 mold) were ever made. I think that the FSS of the G.I. Joe club could have benefited from a new and updated version of Lightfoot. Maybe in 2020 with the reboot, we’ll get a whole bunch of new and/or updated toys… One can only hope, right?

Next time around, we’ll have a clerk typist in, so I’d better check my spelling.

Till then, Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

 

A blast from the past!

Going under again! It doesn´t feel like it´s been just over a year, but let´s go back to January 2017, when we discussed #27 Deep Six. Today we have arrived at #64, and yes, it´s Deep Six again.

Now this is actually the first figure of Deep Six I remember. In fact, it was the second version of Deep Six, a total of 8 figures have been released of Deep Six.

I’m not going to rehash all that I said last year, instead, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk a bit about the re-releasing of figures over the years. I can understand why Hasbro would do this, it brings in a lot of cash and the molds were available. And if it’s done creatively, I guess I can agree with it. Question is, do we really need 16 different versions of Scarlett, 68 (I kid you not) versions of Snake Eyes or 19 versions of Shipwreck? The Joe universe has a ton of great characters we never saw a figure of or just 1 version was released. I really think that even with the available parts, a lot more different figures could have been released.

I mean take a character like Scoop (ok, he only came on board in the DIC cartoons and wasn’t that popular, but he is one of my favorite figures). Only one figure was released back in 1989. This year an updated version was released through the FSS 5.0, but frankly, that’s too rich for my taste. Don’t get me wrong, the figure does look great and I would definitely want to add some of those figures to my collection, but purchasing them is a big cost already ($31.25 per figure). If I add the shipping costs and import duties per shipment, the price for one figure totals at about $60 for me. As much as I like – no love – G.I. Joe, I just can’t pay that kind of money for it. Sorry for yet another rant about this, but seriously, international collectors are really … well, screwed for lack of a better word.

Back to the point I was trying to make. We could have gotten so many figures we didn’t. Professor Apple, Candy (or Bozo), the White Clown, Magda, … I’m sure you all know some great characters that were never made. Some of these have been created by customizers, but those are not available for most fans.

Reading through this post, you may get the impression I’m disappointed with the figures we did get. Rest assured, I’m not. Most of the figures that were released, even the n-th release of Duke, Cobra Commander or Snake Eyes are small pieces of art. If I had the money, I’d start a museum for my Joes. Setting them up in display cases like the shots from the catalogs, how cool would that be. The problem would be, what could we sell in the museum shop? Not a lot of stuff is coming out (let’s hope the movie reboot is a huge success and sales are rocketing), so what’s left? There are a lot of fans of the franchise who create great content. Think of Robert Carson Mataxis’ great 3DJOES or Christopher Hemsworth’s GIJOE365. Both these guys have taken their love for G.I.Joe to the next level and beyond and have created new content for the fans. Thanks to these guys, the community grows and continues to live on. So a very big thank you to them! I hope that in a small way, my blog can also add to the community and inspire more of the fans to speak out and restore G.I. Joe back to its glory. (I don’t have shares in Hasbro in case you were wondering, just a fan that doesn’t want to see his idols slip into the big black hole of nothingness…)

Time to wrap it up for this time around. Next time we’ll take a look at another one of my favorite figures that also got a mere 2 figures released (the second one being a straight repaint, 50 shades darker 🙂 ) Thread carefully and see you again next time.

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

You know you’ve made it when they call you cargo…

According to the dictionary, our featured Joe’s nickname means, the part of a vehicle’s load, especially an aircraft’s, from which revenue is derived. Still, not the worst codename in the team, Hit and Run anyone? Anyway, here’s Impel Trading Card #63, Payload.

While Snake-Eyes is throwing knives at a giant wheel that has Scarlett bound to it and standing on top of Blind Master’s shoulders who himself is balancing on a large ball while juggling with working chainsaws, Payload is in a space fight with Fred VII over some spy satellites. I guess it was one of the few times Cobra actually scored a win. They destroyed the spy satellites – so they couldn’t pick up on the Terror Dromes –  and crippled the Joe’s Defiant space shuttle.

There have been 5 figures released bearing the Payload name. The first one released in 1987 with the massive Defiant Space Vehicle Complex. v2 was a repaint of that first figure and came with the 1989 Crusader Space Shuttle. The next 3 figures were released in quick succession, in 1993 and 1994, as part of the Star Brigade subteam. All 3 being just a repaint of the same mold (used before as the Eco-Warriors’ Barbecue figure).

Next time we’re going back into the deep… a dive down memory lane to January 22 of this year as well 🙂

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Hadleyville,PA or the Bayou?

We’re not going to talk about some Japanese car manufacturer taking over an American car factory, but about the Joe’s first real Marine, Ettienne R. LaFitte, better known as Gung-Ho.

Shown here in his dress blues, is actually also how I first got to know the figure. I hadn’t read any of the comics or seen the cartoons when I started collecting (okay, back in the day it was called playing) with Joes. So I had no idea how Gung-Ho looked like in his more regular Joe outfit. I have to say, he scrubs up nice 🙂 With the pornstache, bald head, bare chest, … I can’t help but think of The Village People. Y-M-C-A, it’s fun to — ok, let’s not go there.

In the comics, Gung-Ho is part of the backup team in Alaska when Cobra’s new specialist (Destro) first appears. He is later assigned to the guard detail on Cobra Commander, eventually getting injured at the hands of Storm Shadow, leading to the discovery of Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow sharing the same tattoo.

Between 1983 and 2015, 21 figures of Gung-Ho (or Gung Ho) have been released. Surprisingly, most of these show him wearing a shirt. The first figure of Gung-Ho I had, was the dress blue version of 1987. In my younger self’s headcanon, he was some sort of Army Brass, a high ranking officer coming down to inspect the Joes. I have a few of the later iterations now and I have to say, he’s not my favorite Joe, but I suppose it’s admirable that he runs around bare-chested a lot, dropping that huge USMC tattoo on his chest in your face.

In the cartoons, Gung-Ho is always there, fighting for freedom over land and air. But mostly, showing off… see below. Or talking to his gun as if its a child.

That’s all for now. Next time, we’ll aim for the moon and end up somewhere in space.

Until then, Happy Collecting and YoJoe!